Despite his career-defining successes with Cream, Ginger Baker’s first musical love always remained jazz, and it’s something he’s returned to with his new band Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion.
Featuring Pee Wee Ellis, a sax-playing alumnus of the James Brown band, bassist Alex Dankworth and percussionist Abbas Dodoo of Ghana, the Jazz Confusion just completed a well-received U.S. jaunt. Along the way, Baker says they confirmed something he already knew.
“People keep shouting ‘Cream,'” Baker tells the BBC. “Well, Cream was nearly 50 years ago. What I’m doing now is far better than Cream.” He then mentioned one reviewer’s comment — “which I totally agree with” — that he’d “rather hear more of Confusion than another Cream reunion.”
They’ll get that chance soon, as the Jazz Confusion returns to stages later this month. They have an August 30, 2014 show in Worthing, UK, as well as an October 25, 2014 show at the Cork Jazz Festival in Ireland.
As for his old group with Eric Clapton, Baker would like to clear up a common misconception. It was, in fact, his old group. “Everybody seems to think it was Eric’s band,” Baker says, “because he plays the guitar.”